Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reaffirmed Greece’s support for Finland and Sweden in their membership bid during an interview with US network MSNBC.
“Greece supports membership of Sweden and Finland into NATO. It is their sovereign decision. And I do expect at the end of the day that there will be no serious objections to these two countries joining NATO. This is not really the right time to use NATO membership by these two countries to bargain for other issues that someone may have on their mind. I do expect this issue to be resolved,” said Mitsotakis, in repsonse to a question referring to the stance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said he is not “positive” to such a development.
Referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the European Union response to it, the prime minister said that the EU “moved very quickly to implement very dramatic sanctions. And I do expect this European unity to last because at the end of the day what is happening in Europe is something completely inconceivable. Borders are being redrawn by force. We thought that after the 20th century this would never happen in Europe.”
“What’s at stake here is not just the sovereignty of Ukraine. It is the security arrangement of Europe as a whole, and that is why I expect European unity certainly to be a given.”
He said that he expected the more sanctions on Russia but warned they must not come at the expense of EU citizens.
“When we impose sanctions upon Russia, we want to be sure that we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot. We want to make sure that we impose more pain on Russia than we do on our own citizens.”
The prime minister, who arrived in Washington for talks with President Joe Biden on Monday and who will address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, highlighted the importance of his visit.
It “marks the bicentennial since the beginning of the Greek war of independence 201 years ago. It was supposed to take place last year, but because of Covid, it was moved to this year,” he said, adding that his address offers the opportunity to “celebrate the path of two vibrant democracies and to reaffirm our strategic commitment to each other.”
Finally, Mitsotakis spoke on bilateral relations between Greece and the United States.
“Greece is probably the most reliable partner that the United States currently has in a rather turbulent part of the world. So we will speak about strengthening our bilateral relationship,” he said.